WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats who want to overturn the ban on gays serving in the military have some new ammunition -- in the form of a Pentagon study.
It finds that repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy might cause some initial disruptions, but no widespread or lasting problems.
The nation's top military brass say Congress should act quickly to provide a gradual repeal, so that a judge doesn't make it happen suddenly. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the military needs time to prepare for such an adjustment. But he says he doesn't envision any changes to housing or other personnel policies. He says those policies "can and should be applied equally to homosexuals as well as heterosexuals."
Although two-thirds of military personnel who were surveyed say they don't care if "don't ask, don't tell" is ended, the report finds more support for the ban among combat troops.
At least 40 percent of those in combat roles said it would be a bad idea for gays to serve openly. And the number climbs to 58 percent among Marines in combat roles.